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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers Week 2 win over the Broncos

Breaking down the success and failures of Pittsburgh’s Week 2 performance.

Denver Broncos v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers returned back to the friendly confines of Heinz Field Sunday in a Week 2 showdown with the Denver Broncos. There were points in the game where it looked as if a run-away win was evident, but those pesky Broncos just wouldn’t go away.

Time to evaluate the game, and time for me, the substitute, to step in and deliver some grades. You might agree, you might disagree, and that is fine. Feel free to rip me apart in the comment section below.

My red pen is ready...here we go.

Offense

Grade: B-

This was a tough performance for me to grade. At one point it looked as if the offense was clicking on all cylinders, ready to blow the doors off the Broncos. Next thing you know it looks as if the unit is searching for an in-game identity. I don’t chalk this all up to play-calling, but more to the fact this group still hasn’t found what they do well, and what they strive to be.

It is early in the season, so some slack is given, but that won’t always be the case. You won’t always be going against a Jeff Driskel led offense. Eventually things have to start clicking. I thought the offense took a step forward today, but not big enough to get them to an ‘A’ grade.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ offense in Week 2?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (60 votes)
  • 46%
    B
    (1465 votes)
  • 48%
    C
    (1515 votes)
  • 2%
    D
    (67 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (17 votes)
3124 votes total Vote Now

Defense

Grade: B+

The Steelers’ defense is turning into a feast or famine unit. Get home with a big play, or get burned in the back end. Some say it is due to playing two young quarterbacks in Daniel Jones and Drew Lock in Weeks 1 and 2, but when Deshaun Watson comes to town next weekend they better have it straightened out.

All in all, you can’t complain too much when your team registers 7 sacks, 19 QB hits, 11 tackles for loss and forces two turnovers, but the secondary was burned on multiple occasions. Throw in some really bad penalties and you hope things get rectified quickly. This defense is still brimming with potential, and they too will continue to improve as the season goes on.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ defense in Week 2?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    A
    (304 votes)
  • 55%
    B
    (1689 votes)
  • 31%
    C
    (945 votes)
  • 2%
    D
    (84 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (8 votes)
3030 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

Grade: A

I cannot believe I am typing this, but I was extremely impressed with the Steelers’ special team units Sunday. Ray-Ray McCloud gives the team a return man who can actually, you know, return the ball. Diontae Johnson had a beautiful punt return go back for a touchdown had it not been for a bogus block-in-the-back call against Cam Sutton. Chris Boswell seems solid as a rock and the coverage units are really starting to turn things around.

Throw in Dustin Colquitt’s consistency and a tremendous hold on a bad snap Sunday and I have to give Danny Smith’s group an A. I feel like I need to go take a shower now...

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ Special Teams in Week 2?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    A
    (1664 votes)
  • 33%
    B
    (905 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (73 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (9 votes)
2666 votes total Vote Now

Coaching

Grade: B

There was nothing egregious from the coaching staff Sunday. Mike Tomlin lost another challenge, Randy Fichtner’s opening script remained awful, but Keith Butler and Danny Smith seem to counter balance those aforementioned issues to give this group a B.

Say what you want about any of these coaches, but they have the team 2-0. I don’t care who they are playing, or where, they are 2-0. You can only beat the teams on the schedule, and the Steelers have done just that this season.

Job well done.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ coaches after Week 2?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    A
    (175 votes)
  • 49%
    B
    (1229 votes)
  • 36%
    C
    (922 votes)
  • 5%
    D
    (137 votes)
  • 1%
    F
    (42 votes)
2505 votes total Vote Now

Overall

Grade: B+

After the game my wife asked me who won, and I told her the Steelers. She asked how they played and I said, “I’m still thinking about that.”

There were so many positives, Chase Claypool’s 84-yard touchdown catch, the defense’s 7 sacks, two takeaways, but those were countered by the Benny Snell Jr. fumble, Ben Roethlisberger’s bad interception, Noah Fant doing a Rob Gronkowski impression through the defense and Diontae Johnson losing a fumble on the opening series.

It was a very weird game, but the better team won. The winning team made one more play than the losing team.

Literally.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers overall after Week 2?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A
    (70 votes)
  • 56%
    B
    (1401 votes)
  • 38%
    C
    (959 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (24 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (11 votes)
2465 votes total Vote Now

It wasn’t pretty, and left fans anxious, but it was a victory. Win and correct is a lot better than lose and correct. With that said...

Now the team must prepare for the Houston Texans to invade Heinz Field in Week 3. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the Steelers preparing for Deshaun Watson and company to come to town.